Opening June 7 to 13, 2021- Margaret Barton-Fumo reports

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The Alliance of Women Film Journalists highlights movies made by and about women. With a vigilant eye toward current releases, we maintain an interactive record of films that are pertinent to our interests. Be they female-made or female-centric productions, they are films that represent a wide range of women’s stories and present complex female characters. As such, they are movies that will most likely be reviewed on AWFJ.org and will qualify for consideration for our annual EDA Awards, celebrating exceptional women working in film behind and in front of the camera. Our members are feature writers, columnists and regular contributors to a variety of media outlets and many of us publish regularly on the festival circuit. Our critical voices are widespread and diverse. We invite you to join us in tracking weekly releases of particular interest. And we welcome information about new films that will help us to keep our records updated and our critics alert. Below is a concise list of new releases set for the week of June 7 to 13 that are of particular interest:  

Wednesday, June 9  

  • Awake – Netflix – USA – Action / sci-fi starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, Frances Fisher and Gina Rodriguez. After a devastating global event wipes out all electronics and removes people’s ability to sleep, a former soldier may have found a solution with her daughter.
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  • Tragic Jungle – Netflix – Mexico / France / Columbia – Drama co-written and directed by Mexican filmmaker Yulene Olaizola. To escape an arranged marriage, a woman flees into the depths of the Mayan jungle, where untamed nature merges the human and the supernatural.

Friday, June 11  

  • Asia – Menemsha Films (Cinemas) – Israel – Israeli drama written and directed by Ruthy Pribar. Becoming a mother at a very early age has shaped Asia’s relationship with her teenage daughter Vika. Their routine is shaken when Vika’s health deteriorates rapidly. Asia must step in and become the mother Vika so desperately needs.
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  • Censor – Magnet Releasing (Cinemas) – UK – British horror co-written and directed by Welsh filmmaker Prano Bailey-Bond. After viewing a strangely familiar video nasty, Enid, a film censor, sets out to solve the past mystery of her sister’s disappearance, embarking on a quest that dissolves the line between fiction and reality.
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  • Holler – IFC Films (Cinemas) – USA – Drama. Feature debut of writer-director Nicole Riegel. A young woman joins a dangerous scrap metal crew in order to pay for her education and a better chance at life.
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  • In My Blood It Runs – Sentient Art Film (OVID.tv) – Australia – An intimate and compassionate observational documentary from the perspective of a 10-year-old Aboriginal boy in Alice Springs, Australia, struggling to balance his traditional Arrernte / Garrwa upbringing with a state education. Directed by Maya Newell.
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  • Queen Bees – Gravitas Ventures (Cinemas, VOD) – USA – Drama starring Ellen Burstyn, James Caan and Ann-Margret. After reluctantly agreeing to move into a senior home, a woman encounters a clique of mean-spirited women and an amorous widower.
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  • Skater Girl – Netflix – USA / India – Drama co-written and directed by Manjari Makijany. When a teen in rural India discovers a life-changing passion for skateboarding, she faces a rough road as she pursues her dream to compete.
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  • So Pretty – OVID.tv – USA / France – Drama written and directed by Jessie Jeffrey Dunn Rovinelli. Four queer and trans youth in New York City struggle to maintain their proto-utopian community against the outside world as their lives curiously merge with the 1980s German novel So Schön by Ronald M. Schernikau.
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  • Take Me Somewhere Nice – Dekanalog (Cinemas, VOD) – Netherlands / Bosnia and Herzegovina – Drama. Feature debut from Bosnian-Dutch writer-director Ena Sendijarević. On the edge of adulthood, Alma leaves her mother’s home in the Netherlands and travels to her native Bosnia to visit the father she’s never met.

Film descriptions are adapted from press releases. Highlighted films have links for full reviews. Stay tuned in for next week’s releases! Contact us if we’ve overlooked anything.

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Margaret Barton-Fumo

Margaret Barton-Fumo

Based in New York, Margaret Barton-Fumo has contributed to Film Comment since 2006. Her monthly online column, “Deep Cuts,” focused on the intersection of film and music. She has interviewed such directors, actors, and musicians as Brian De Palma, James Gray, Harry Dean Stanton, and Paul Williams, and has additionally contributed to Senses of Cinema and Stop Smiling. She is the editor of Paul Verhoeven: Interviews, published by the University Press of Mississippi.